I am a Lecturer in Health Humanities and Health Sciences in the Department of English at King’s College London. My research, funded by a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship and previously by the Wellcome Trust, thrives at the intersection between literary, medical and scientific discourse, includes various visual and textual media, cultural contexts and languages, and is intended to inform cultural thinking about health and disease.
I am particularly interested in the question as to what cultural concepts and ideas lead laboratory and clinical researchers to study health and disease within specific paradigms. In what ways does culture frame the questions asked by leading researchers in Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive health and ageing? I am invested in the relationship between literature, science and medicine and my research shows that science follows culture just as often as literature takes up scientific images.
More generally, my research is driven by the hope to improve mutual appreciation of medico-scientific and humanities approaches to illness, and to enhance productive science and arts conversations through literary study.
I am passionate about discipline-crossing teaching and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. One motivation for my shift in research interests was the absence of the patient’s illness experience in the Pharmaceutical Sciences curriculum: I felt that the student was insufficiently prepared for patient contact in the pharmacy. As such, my explorations of patient and caregiver narratives are paralleled by efforts to relocate care for patients and caregivers to the centre of pharmacy as well as medical students’ attention in lectures, seminars and one-day courses. These efforts have been supported by funding bodies and are documented in peer-reviewed journals including the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education.
Before joining King’s I worked at the University of Warwick, where I taught Communicating Science in the Department of Physics and, with the Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning, developed discipline-crossing modules that explore the rhetoric of science and interrogate the public discourse about science, including Science in Context.